Best Loans for Bad Credit in Illinois for 2024

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Updated: July 22, 2024

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Happy Money is the best personal loan lender for bad credit in Illinois, with a MoneyGeek score of 94 out of 100. It provides quality service and competitive interest rates and is credible and transparent about its loan terms and process. The runner-up is Avant, with a MoneyGeek score of 92. It offers a swift application and approval process, broad payment options and strong customer service.

MoneyGeek reviewed four personal loan lenders in Illinois that specify and disclose a minimum credit score requirement ranging from 580 to 640 to find the state's best personal loans for bad credit. While the featured lenders offer competitive options, other local lenders, such as the Central Credit Union of Illinois, Illinois Community Credit Union and Central Illinois Credit Union, also provide personal loan services for those seeking more localized options.

MoneyGeek Logo IconBest Bad CreditLendersIllinois
2024

Best Bad Credit Loans in Illinois

MoneyGeek scored personal loan lenders in Illinois that explicitly disclose their minimum credit score requirements on their websites to find the state's best personal loan for bad credit. Only 12% of lenders disclose this information.

We filtered our analysis to include lenders with minimum credit score requirements between 580 and 640, which meets Experian's definition of fair credit. Our research did not find any published minimums lower than 580.

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Our analysis was completed in April 2024 and considers banks and lenders licensed to do business in Illinois. We also consider financial companies that partner with federally insured institutions to offer competitive rates.

34Lenders Analyzed

    Overall Best Bad Credit Loan Lender in Illinois

  • Happy Money

    • 94MoneyGeek Score
    • 11.72% to 17.99%APR Range
    • 640Minimum Credit Score
    • $5,000 to $40,000Loan Amount Range
    • 24 to 60 monthsRepayment Terms

    Happy Money is MoneyGeek's pick for the best personal loan lender for bad credit in Illinois with a MoneyGeek score of 94 out of 100. It is not a lender but a fintech company that partners with federally insured lending institutions under the NCUA to originate personal loans. Catering to borrowers with a minimum credit score requirement of 640, it offers loans ranging from $5,000 to $40,000; funds are typically available the next day. It doesn't add fees for late or early repayment, helping those already facing credit challenges. However, applicants should note that it only provides loans for debt consolidation and charges an origination fee.

    Pros

    • Doesn't charge late, early repayment, bounced check, failed ACH or other fees
    • Offers to pay creditors directly
    • Flexible repayment terms from 24 to 60 months

    Cons

    • Only offers loans for debt consolidation
    • Charges an origination fee
    • No co-signers or co-borrowers
    Happy Money

    Runner-Up for Best Bad Credit Loan Lender in Illinois

  • Avant

    • 92MoneyGeek Score
    • 9.95% to 35.99%APR Range
    • 580Minimum Credit Score
    • $2,000 to $35,000Loan Amount Range
    • 12 to 60 monthsRepayment Terms

    Avant is the runner-up for Illinois's best bad credit loan lender, with a MoneyGeek score of 92 out of 100. Avant works with WebBank, a state-chartered member FDIC bank, to originate personal loans. It accommodates borrowers with a minimum credit score of 580 and offers loans ranging from $2,000 to $35,000, with recipients receiving funds as soon as the next day. It provides flexible repayment terms from 12 to 60 months and does not charge a prepayment penalty. Applicants should consider that it imposes an administration fee of up to 9.99% and also charges for late payments and dishonored fees.

    Pros

    • Doesn't charge a prepayment penalty
    • Flexible repayment terms between 12 to 60 months
    • Offers next-day funding

    Cons

    • Charges an administration fee up to 9.99%
    • Has late fees and dishonored payment fees
    • Doesn't allow co-signers or joint applications
    Avant

Calculate Your Monthly Loan Payment in Illinois

In Illinois, the average new account balance for personal loans stands at $8,594, according to the TransUnion's Credit Industry Snapshot report. A personal loan, typically an unsecured loan, requires repayment through fixed monthly payments over a predetermined loan term. Calculating your monthly loan payments is helpful for budgeting, particularly when you have bad credit, as you'll want to ensure the payments are manageable. To accurately estimate your loan payments, you can use MoneyGeek's personal loan calculator.

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Updated: Jul 22, 2024

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Although MoneyGeek partners with some of the companies we recommend, our content is written and reviewed by an independent team of writers, editors and licensed agents. Learn more about our editorial policies and expert editorial team.

Best Bad Credit Loans by Credit Score in Illinois

In Illinois, the average credit score is 720, slightly higher than the national average of 715 based on Experian data.

Even with a bad credit score, obtaining a personal loan is possible. Lenders in Illinois may accommodate borrowers with bad credit, though such loans typically come with higher interest rates and less advantageous terms. Review the following table to locate personal loan lenders in Illinois that align with your credit score bracket.

AvantMinimum Credit Score580APR Range9.95% to 35.99%Loan Amount Range$2,000 to $35,000Repayment Terms12 to 60 monthsTime to Receive FundsNext DayMoneyGeek Score 92
ProsperMinimum Credit Score600APR Range8.99% to 35.99%Loan Amount Range$2,000 to $50,000Repayment Terms24 to 60 monthsTime to Receive Funds1 business dayMoneyGeek Score 90
AchieveMinimum Credit Score620APR Range8.99% to 35.99%Loan Amount Range$5,000 to $50,000Repayment Terms24 to 60 monthsTime to Receive FundsSame Day MoneyGeek Score 92
Happy MoneyMinimum Credit Score640APR Range11.72% to 17.99%Loan Amount Range$5,000 to $40,000Repayment Terms24 to 60 monthsTime to Receive Funds3 to 6 Business DaysMoneyGeek Score 94

What to Do if Your Loan Application Is Denied in Illinois

It's not uncommon to have a personal loan application denied in Illinois. Understanding the next steps can help you navigate this setback. Here are some measures to enhance your chances for approval on future applications.

1
Find out the reason for the denial

A loan application may be denied due to a poor credit score, a high debt-to-income ratio, low income level or errors in your application. Review the lender's reasons to identify areas you can improve and reduce the chances of future denials.

2
Modify your loan terms

Consider asking your lender if adjusting the loan amount or repayment terms could lead to approval. These changes might make the loan more manageable for you and more acceptable to the lender.

3
Find another lender

Different lenders have various criteria for loan approval. Shop around and weigh factors to find the right lender for your needs and credit history. Consider the following:

  • Eligibility requirements: Lenders vary in their requirements for credit score, income level, debt-to-income ratio and employment history. Become familiar with these to determine fit.
  • Interest rates: Look for lenders offering competitive rates, particularly when you have a lower credit score.
  • Additional fees: Understand that lenders may charge fees such as origination, late or prepayment fees. This knowledge is crucial when you have a lower credit score.
  • Loan terms: Lenders offer various repayment options. Weigh the pros and cons of short versus long terms.
  • Customer service and reputation: Research the lender's customer service and reputation, ensuring it aligns with your preferences.
4
Look for alternatives

Alternative options to personal loans may be more suitable for borrowers with bad credit. Such options can include secured loans, credit builder loans or borrowing from family and friends. Exploring these may offer more flexibility or lower costs.

5
Improve your credit score

By improving your credit score, you increase the likelihood of loan approval. Steps to enhance your credit include paying bills on time, reducing debt and checking your credit report for errors.

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EXPERT TIP

Work on improving your credit score before applying for a personal loan to increase your chances of approval and getting better terms. Here are some long-term steps to consider:

  • Monitor your credit utilization ratio: Keep your credit utilization ratio low, as high credit utilization can negatively impact your credit score. Aim to use less than 30% of your available credit limit.
  • Don’t close old credit cards: The length of your credit history contributes to your credit score. Even if you no longer use a credit card, keep it open unless it has an annual fee.

Alvin Yam, CFP

FAQ About Bad Credit Loans in Illinois

Borrowers, especially those with bad credit, may have questions or concerns when shopping for personal loans in Illinois. To assist in this process, we compiled answers to some frequently asked questions, offering clarity and guidance to help you make well-informed decisions.

Who is the best personal loan lender for bad credit in Illinois?
Which lender in Illinois has the lowest APR rates for personal loans?
Which lender in Illinois has the lowest minimum credit score requirement for personal loans?
How to apply for a personal loan for bad credit in Illinois?
How long does it take to get a bad credit loan in Illinois?
Can I pay off my personal loan early in Illinois?
Is there a difference between personal loans and installment loans in Illinois for bad credit?
Sources

Experian. "What Is the Average Credit Score in the US?." Accessed April 9, 2024.

TransUnion. "Credit Industry Snapshot." Accessed April 9, 2024.

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The content on this page is accurate as of the posting/last updated date; however, some of the rates mentioned may have changed. We recommend visiting the lender's website for the most up-to-date information available.

Editorial Disclosure: Opinions, reviews, analyses and recommendations are the author’s alone and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any bank, lender or other entity. Learn more about our editorial policies and expert editorial team.